North West Wales

Teen strip search: Two North Wales officers disciplined

The strip search took place at Llandudno police station in 2012
Image caption The strip search took place at Llandudno police station in 2012

Two North Wales Police officers have been disciplined for carrying out a strip search on a teenage boy without an appropriate adult present.

John Drew, who was 15 at the time, had been detained by police in Llandudno in 2012 under drugs laws but faced no further action.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission found on Friday that two officers did have a case to answer.

John Drew's father said the family welcomed the decision.

"It's been a long job - this has taken three years. The officers have been disciplined," said father, David Drew.

"I feel vindicated but I'm not entirely satisfied - I would have liked more action."

The IPCC carried out its own investigation after upholding appeals from Mr Drew after complaints to North Wales Police.

The police watchdog said that while the strip search had taken place in a private part of the Llandudno station, no appropriate adult was notified or present.

The north Wales force told the IPCC it had put in place a number of measures around "stop and search" procedures, including intimate searches in custody.

Action includes further training for officers.

'Never in trouble'

The IPCC said as the two police constables involved in the incident had already received management intervention, no further action against them was necessary.

"North Wales Police has advised the IPCC that, since the time of the incident, the force has heightened its focus around stop and search and has appointed a senior officer, at superintendent level, to oversee this area," said Jan Williams, IPCC Commissioner for Wales.

However, the teenager's father said the incident had left a long-lasting mark on his son.

"It's really affected him, even now. He's not the lad he was," said Mr Drew.

"He's quiet and inoffensive and has never been in any trouble."

Supt Nigel Harrison, who leads North Wales Police stop and search said the force acknowledged the report's findings.

He added: "Stop and search is a vital operational policing tool, in order to show transparency we now have robust management and scrutiny procedures in place to enable the public to have confidence in its lawful, fair and proportionate use."

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